Gloversville police debut body cameras

February 01, 2017 06:14 PM

GLOVERSVILLE -- Police Officer Christopher Zink is conducting a traffic stop, but today, he's carrying something extra on his chest: a body-worn camera.

The Taser Axon 2 sticks on with a magnet.  He switches on the camera.  To start and stop recording, he pushes the button.

Chief Marc Porter says police will record enforcement-related activities.

"For us, that generally means calls for service, traffic stops, field interviews, arrests, citizen contacts," said the chief.

Officer Zink will be able to review video of his traffic stop later.

He will also quickly be able to see it on his phone, but not edit or delete it.

Chief Porter says the cameras will help protect the public and the officers, and give them a full perspective on what led up to any incident, instead of relying solely on written reports, witness accounts, or cellphone video that may only show select moments.

"To use that information to fully document the incident, possibly improve our chances of gaining convictions, adjudicating or investigating our use of force instances, personnel complaints," said Chief Porter.

Police say they can also use the video in their investigations.

The department has 15 body cameras.

"So at the end of our shift, we put it in here.  It automatically goes into the system," said Officer Zink.
The goal, the chief says, is increased safety for the community and for his officers.

The city has also authorized five new positions: three uniformed officers, one detective, and one public safety secretary.

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Kumi Tucker

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